On Monday, we finished our prep work and eagerly awaited the arrival of our campers. Only one ended up not being able to come, so we got word that 43 children were on the bus heading to camp. We did our final prep (adding names to signs and labeling Bibles and water bottles) and waited. My heart was pumping so hard. I had never been more anxious before a camp. I could barely sleep the two nights before.
Finally, the campers arrived. The week had begun. We moved the campers into the cabins and gave the camp tours. We ate. And ate. And ate. Oh, the food. We hiked, painted, and swam. We did archery and marshmallow wars. We climbed hills and stairs. We sang and danced. We prayed together with the campers. My cabin mates and I had the most awesome group of 11 year old girls. They got along so well and loved to hang out with us. They helped us make our tie-dye shirts, which we will cherish forever.
The days seemed to go on forever, but the week flew by. Every night the counselors worked to create memory books with the pictures taken by the camp photographer. Thursday was the "Everybody's Birthday Party" because some children never get a birthday party, or even know when their birthday was. The cutest thing was that there was a counselor whose birthday was on Thursday. One of the campers asked him, "Is this party really for you?" It was awesome watching the kids climbing the water slide or slipping on the blow-up slip and slide. Some of the campers were so amazing at hitting the trigger for the dunk tank. There was ice cream and Disney Princesses who did a story time and sing along with the kids. And of course, there was cake.
Thursday night brought sugar-induced laughing fits with two of the campers from my cabin, as well as a well-thought out talent show act. Presents followed, and we prepared for bed. More laughing fits with all the girls turned into uncontrollable crying which led to dancing to Britt Nicole's "Gold" and a giant group hug.
Friday was the day to say goodbye, but I always feel like it's more of a "see you later." We know that we plant the seeds that change eternity. One of the other counselors was woken up by God at 4am and fought it until 5 AM. God helped her realize that we didn't just change 43 lives for a week. We changed 43 lives for ETERNITY. We helped the girls realize they are loved, and planted seeds to help them choose the right man for their lives. We changed generations because with the love of God, those girls will not choose abortion. We helped the boys who will grow up to be husbands and leaders in our community and government. Those children will grow up and choose to be the parents that they didn't have.
I cannot wait to get to heaven and see the harvest of the seeds that were planted.
If you donated to our camp, thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you prayed, thank you. Keep praying for the 43 campers we had. God knows their names. Pray they find their forever homes, that they remember that Jesus loves them, and that they remember the memory verse from the week.
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11
Thank you for all your prayers and support.